Basics for Healthy Cooking Recipes

Home Kitchen Tips Basics for Healthy Recipes 1, 2, 3, 4


The first step to healthy eating and creating your own healthy cooking recipes is to understand food.

We've covered 1, 2, and 3; here is the last part.

4. Meat & Beans Group

This group includes all meats, protein-rich beans and nuts, listed as following:

  • Pork
  • Beef
  • Lamb, veal
  • Game meats, like rabbit or venison
  • Organ meats, such as liver, tongues, hearts, gizzards, kidneys, etc. (This group normally is high in cholesterol.)
  • Poultry (chicken, turkey, duck, goose)
  • Fish: (Some fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout, and herring)
  • Shellfish (oysters, shrimps, mussels, calamari, crayfish octopus, and other sea food)
  • Eggs: (egg yolks are high in cholesterol and egg whites are cholesterol-free)
  • Dry beans and peas, soy products, such as tofu
  • Nuts and seeds: (Sunflower seeds, almonds, and hazelnuts are the richest sources of vitamin E in this food group. They are good choices for gaining vitamin E. Flax and walnuts are excellent sources of essential fatty acids.)

This group provides protein, B vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and B6), vitamin E, iron, zinc, and magnesium. It's important to include the RIGHT amount of them in your healthy cooking recipes.

The Health Benefits of Meat & Beans Group:

  • Proteins are building blocks for blood, cartilage, bones, skin, muscles, enzymes, hormones, and vitamins.

  • Zinc helps the immune system function properly and is necessary for biochemical reactions.

  • Vitamin E is an powerful anti-oxidant that helps protect essential fatty acids and vitamin A from cell oxidation.

  • B vitamins in this food group are vital for the function of the nervous system, help the body release energy, and aid the formation of red blood cells as well as building up tissue.

  • Magnesium is important in releasing energy from muscles and building bones.

  • Iron carries oxygen into the blood. Girls and women in their child-bearing years should eat foods high in heme-iron (meats) along with food rich in vitamin C, which helps absorption of non-heme iron.

5. Milk Group

This food group includes all liquid milk (whole, fat-free, low fat) and milk products, like cheese (hard, soft or processed cheese), yogurt, ice cream, milk puddings, etc.

The characteristic of this group is calcium. If a milk product contains little or no calcium, it doesn't belong here, such as such as cream cheese, butter and cream.

Health Benefits of This Group:

  • Diets rich in milk and milk products have calcium that is used for building bones and teeth and in maintaining bone mass. It's important for children and it may reduce the risk of osteoporosis for older people.

  • Milk products, especially yogurt and fluid milk, provide potassium, which helps maintain a healthy blood pressure.
  • Vitamin D in milk and milk products help maintain proper calcium and phosphorous levels in building and maintaining bones.
  • Low-fat or fat-free milk or milk products have little or no solids, which is good for weight control while providing neccesary nutrients.

You can see why it should be included in your healthy cooking recipes.

6. Oils

Oils ocupies a very thin stripe of the new food pyramid. They are not considered a group of foods though.

Oils have two kinds: one is in liquid form at room temperature, one is in solid form and is mostly animal fats.

While fats and oils also are a mixture of saturated fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids, solid fats contain more trans fats and/or saturated fats that are not good for our health. Trans/saturated fats and cholesterol tend to raise the bad cholesterol (LDL) levels in blood. LDL is a reason for heart disease.

Oils contain more monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fats than solid fats.

Benefits of Oils:

  • They are the major source of MUFAs and PUFAs, which contain some essential fatty acids that are necessary for our health.

  • They are a good source of vitamin E.

We've talked about some basics of food nutrition. Here are some healthy cooking recipes.

1, 2, 3, << More 4

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